Family Movie Night


Someone once said,
“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing,
the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken”.
YES ! THOSE are the kinds of days I’m looking forward to!
The lazy days of summer somehow seem more acceptable. People sit on their front porches. Kids play across the yards. Neighbors seem to have time to stop and chat. There’s just something about this season that draws people outside.

Recently, over a long weekend, my neighbors put together a Neighborhood Movie Night.
It wasn’t anything fancy or over the top. Invites were sent out by their boys on bikes, and texts to moms, and to all who happened to pass by as the movie was starting. You wouldn’t believe how many people came. People with kids, people without kids, and people and their dogs that were just walking by. It was great ! Popcorn and laughing and chatting and meeting new neighbors.
It felt like community. It felt like summer.
It was so much fun, I thought I’d share some of the great ideas with you !
1) Select the Showing Method
Don’t let this scare you away! You don’t have to have a projector and a big screen. My neighbors showed their movie on a sheet hung on their garage door. You could even just use your TV and DVD player, or computer. Do be sure you try the arrangement out before the movie night. Set up before dark 😀
*Things to Consider: long enough extension cords, outlet placements, etc.
2) Select the Scene
Once you decide on what equipment you’ll use to show the movie, you can decide on WHERE you want to show it. Our neighbors chose their front yard. I think if your goal is to really include as many people as possible, this is a great place! If you’d rather keep it small and cozy, the backyard may be a better choice.
Be creative! We even watched a movie while in a swimming pool for my daughter’s birthday one year (probably not the best neighborhood party lol). I’ve listed it below as well, but I personally would notify/invite close by neighbors as a courtesy and also watch a few days ahead (or check your local weather app) for times of sunset. Note what time the sun sets and what time it gets dark.
*Things to Consider: neighbors, proximity to busy streets, bright street lights that might interfere with picture, time of sunset.
3) Select the Seats
Be sure to think ahead about seating. If you don’t have enough chairs, just put out what you have. Pass the word with the invite for everyone to bring a campchair. A basket of blankets for the kids to sit on works too. Also, keep in mind that some of the adults may want to be chatty. You might like to station some chairs farther back, away from the movie area. This could also act as a bit of a barrier for any of the littles that might be roaming around and get too close to the road (depending on your yard).
*Things to Consider: how many people, an area for the adults who aren’t watching the movie to chat, set up
4) Select the Movie
There are some great movies to choose from. The hardest part will be picking a movie that people of all ages will enjoy. Any family friendly (PGish) movies are probably appropriate. If you are feeling extra energetic, you could choose a theme and plan the movie and snacks around that !
*The highlighted links below are my Amazon affiliate links.  You will NOT be charged anything additional if you click on them & buy… but I do get a small commission for any sales through my site. Thanks for supporting me 🙂
*Some of our favorites: Despicable Me! , The Chronicles of Narnia movies, All Saints, Finding Nemo, Wonder, Akeelah and the Bee, Cars, Toy Story, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Parent Trap, Home Alone or Elf (Christmas in July theme?), Inside Out, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Cheaper By the Dozen movies, and Frozen (maybe that would make us forget it’s 109* here this week!)
*Things to Consider: Ages of kids, and if adults are a big part of the crowd too
5) Select the Snacks
Now for the fun stuff! What’s a movie without SNACKS ?!?
This step can be as simple as a BYOS (bring your own snack) or making some brown paper sacks or big bowls of popcorn !  If you’re feeling especially energetic, here are some ideas to make the popcorn extra special (from Food Network- 50 Flavored Popcorn Recipes)
OR you could get the kiddos involved by letting them create some themed snacks
(LIKE THESE) around whatever movie you chose. Be sure to have some bottled waters or juice boxes to wash all the popcorn down too!

*Things to Consider: trash can/clean up, known food allergies


PS…I think there are two secrets to keeping it fun for everyone
2.  Get your whole family involved (kids can do invites and make snacks!)

And VOILA !  A Perfect Neighborhood Movie Night !
Super simple way to create some sweet summer memories !

Family Movie Night Ideas


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